“The dirty story contains almost all the hallmarks of a stereotypical conspiracy: sex trafficking with children, powerful leaders of world politics, dubious flights in private jets, billionaires whose wealth is inexplicable” – that is how the New York Times describes the case of Jeffrey Epstein. The list could be supplemented by one point: and a US President, who unabashedly promotes conspiracy theories. The only certainty so far is: The alleged suicide of the billionaire continues to engage the US investigators.
How were two suicide attempts possible?
As well as the FBI and Justice Secretary William Barr have initiated investigations. It will probably also be about how Epstein – accused of sexual abuse of underage girls – apparently tried twice to kill herself. An urgent question is whether the prison staff might neglect their duty of supervision. Epstein had been found unconscious in his cell in July. The “New York Times” reported that prison authorities had already investigated on suspicion of suicide attempt.
According to the newspaper, Manhattan Prison did not meet the prescribed surveillance requirements the night before Epstein's death. Actually, an employee should have looked after him every half hour, the newspaper reported with reference to an anonymous source. In addition, the institution Epstein's cellmates have relocated. The accused was therefore alone and unobserved in his cell.
Corpse discovered by Epstein Saturday morning
Barr said he was appalled that Epstein was found to be lifeless in his cell in a federal prison in New York after a “blatant suicide.” “Mr. Epstein's death raises serious questions that need to be answered.” Manhattan prison officials had discovered the ex-investment banker's body in the cell at 6:30 am local time on Saturday morning.
Since the arrest in early July, the scandal surrounding the businessman has provided plenty of fuel: The prosecutor in New York accused the 66-year-old of abusing dozens of minor girls. The businessman had between 2002 and 2005 in New York and Florida built an illegal sex trade ring, it said in the indictment. Some girls were only 14 years old and were attracted by large sums of money and tempted to bring more girls. Investigators reported finding hundreds of nude photos while searching Epstein's Manhattan Mansion.
Epstein rejected the allegations and pleaded not guilty. The date for the start of the process was provisionally set to June 8, 2020. US media speculate that a process would have heavily impacted other celebrities. Epstein liked to be seen publicly with stars and had inter alia – at least temporarily – contact with today's President Donald Trump, ex-President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew from the UK.
Lawyer gives media complicity in death
New York prosecutor Geoffrey S. Berman said investigations into the allegations were continuing. He pointed out that one of the charges targeted suspected accomplices. One of Epstein's lawyers, Marc Fernich, reportedly blamed state prosecutors, victim lawyers and the media for his client's death.
Several media reported, citing a prison representative, that Epstein was housed in the detention center in a special unit with stricter security measures. He had only been under special observation for a time because of possible suicidal tendencies.
Epstein had entered into a deal with the prosecutor in 2008 and escaped federal prosecution for abuse allegations. He pleaded guilty and served a 13-month jail sentence without trial before a federal court. This regulation was approved by then state prosecutor in Florida, Alexander Acosta. After the new allegations against Epstein Acosta resigned from his now assumed office as US labor minister.
Trump tweets conspiracy theories
US President Donald Trump had distanced himself from Epstein in July. He had a fight with him a long time ago and was not a fan of his. Trump had described Epstein as a “great man” in a 2002 New York Magazine interview. At that time, the not yet politically active real estate mogul said: “It is even said that he likes beautiful women just as I do, and many of them are more of the younger kind.”
Shortly after Epstein's death, Trump had shared several tweets on Twitter, suggesting that ex-President Bill Clinton was involved in the demise of the billionaire.
Swell: “New York Times”, DPA
You have suicidal thoughts? Help provides the telephone counseling. It can be reached anonymously, free of charge and around the clock at 0 800/111 0 111 and 0 800/111 0 222. Also a consultation over E-Mail is possible. A list of nationwide help agencies can be found on the website of the German Society for Suicide Prevention.